Friday, July 22, 2016

7QT: Summer Camp Ideas

Phil's in the middle of his three week summer camp, and he's been doing some really neat crafts with the kids that I thought might be fun to share.  If anyone is stuck at home this summer with bored (and hungry!  always hungry!) kids, here's some ideas to liven things up.



This seemed to be the favorite activity so far.  The directions are here.


Superhero Capes

I never would have thought to use cheap disposable tablecloths for this, but they worked out great!  Directions here.  This project can take up a lot of time (if that's your objective) because you can have the kids come up with a superhero, write down their superpowers, design their costume and then create it.  Fun!


Bubblewrap Dance Party

Phil hasn't done this activity yet, but he bought bubblewrap to tape to the floor and have kids play freeze dance on top of it.  When the music stops, whoever pops is out.  He also is going to tape sections of the bubble wrap to the floor and have contests to see which group can pop all their bubbles first.


Sun Art

Phil made us 7 little shamrocks :)

Using this special paper, you can let the sun make designs from objects in nature (or any objects) that you place underneath.


Making Homemade Ice Cream

Using directions like these, but in empty protein powder containers (we love our protein shakes!) the kids made actual ice cream yesterday and said it was great!


Sponge Balls

He tries to take the kids out for water play a lot, and though he's a HUGE fan of these water balloons, this year he also tried making sponge balls and they turned out great because you can keep using them after all the balloons have popped.


Spaghetti & Marshmallow Towers

This is a really cheap activity.  You can do it in groups or individually and judge it in any way you'd like - most creative, tallest, longest, etc.

And a bonus, here's some:

Silly Songs that Get Stuck in Your Head

The kids are loving these videos to dance and sing to at the end of everyday:

Have a dance-filled, craft-filled, anti-boring kind of weekend everybody!  Linking up with Kelly as one does on Fridays :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Identity Crisis

When I was pregnant with Baby 5, I remember my four biggest kids discussing if the baby was a boy or girl.  I told them they had to wait until the baby was born to find out.  My three year old daughter piped up and said "That's right!  If the baby is bald, it's a boy.  But if the baby has long hair, it's a girl!"  We smiled at her innocence and left it at that.  He was born a bald boy, so it all worked out in the end :)

On Friday, I posted a quick little comment thinking about how we know this baby in utero is a boy based only on his biological boy parts scanned by an ultrasound technician.  "Oh, he's definitely a boy" she assured us even though I was pretty certain this bambino was going to be a girl.  We didn't even think to question her judgment.  It was plain as day on the screen that he was, no IS, indeed a boy.

Yet, I am left to wonder, why is it that once those babies are born and grow up, it's not so simple?  Why is there now a disparity between sex organs and one's gender?  What used to be so black and white is now all shades of gray.  We've always taught our kids since they were little that you "get what you get, and you don't get upset" when it comes to playing the hand they've been dealt.  But now the world is trying to tell them that the most basic issue in our life: our gender, is questionable, is changeable?  How did we get here?  Has nobody read the Emperor's New Clothes?  He's naked people!

Don't get me wrong, I truly feel so badly with anyone who struggles with this issue in their life.  A boy who thinks he should have been a girl or a girl who identifies as a male...but that doesn't mean we need to change our definitions of male and female identity.  We need to help these people who feel at war with their bodies.  Offer them counseling, prayer, medications, anything to help them mentally and emotionally accept their state in life.  Because their struggle is a mental disease.  And to proclaim their mental anguish as a heroic testament to the human race isn't fair to anyone.

If we allow people to look down at their bodies and decide they were created "wrong" and allow them to identify as another gender, then we have to be okay with allowing anyone to identify as anything whenever they want.  Are we ready for that?  Consider the following:

When I am in need of some time off from work, can I identify as a 67 year old woman and qualify for retirement benefits?

When my kids apply to college, can they identify as minorities/geniuses/star athletes to obtain more scholarship money?

When my doctor says I am obese, can I identify as a 6'9" tall man who is actually underweight?

When my baby won't stop crying at night, can I identify as a college girl and pack up and head for a semester abroad in Europe?

When my husband forgets to pick up his dirty socks in the bathroom again, can I identify as an unmarried woman and find a new spouse?

When there are no close parking spaces at the mall, can I identify as handicapped to scoop up the last remaining spot by the door?

When I love my pet dog, I mean really just think he is the love of my life, can I marry him?  Love is love, right?

Why can't I choose to identify as a different person with a  different lifestyle when that is exactly what is being pushed through our culture right now.  It seems crazy, right?  But how can anyone judge me for wanting to be a completely different person than what I was born to be when I'm not allowed to judge them for doing the same?  When does identifying as somebody or something we are clearly not become a lie and not just a life choice?  When did coming out with a different identity earn a person accolades for being "brave" and "heroic"?  How do we stop the madness yet still be compassionate and kind to all those suffering?  

Monday, July 18, 2016

PinkBlush Winner!!

Congrats to...

Becky Lyons Borgia

who said she would pick this dress if she won:

Well Happy Shopping!  You just won a $75.00 gift card to PinkBlush Maternity :) 

Email me at collmart at gmail dot com and we can get the money into your hands.  Thank you everyone for playing, and to PinkBlush for the great giveaway!

Friday, July 15, 2016

7QT on the Ides of July

TGIFing the heck out of today and linking up with Kelly as one does on a Friday.


Baby Boy Martin is finally cooperating!!  I feel like every test, every ultrasound, every appointment I just get bad news (not life threatening news, just never what I'm expecting) but finally yesterday, the little stinker stopped being a stinker and started towing the line.  

That's his profile (white nose) with a hand up to his forehead.  It's like he was saying "I just can't even."

He's no longer breech!  He's head down and weighs about 5 lbs. 11 oz. (70% on growth chart) and is measuring 10 days ahead based on the size of his belly.  Less than six weeks to go!  But hopefully more like 4?!?!?!


JP came with me to the ultrasound yesterday, and was so intrigued.  It must be weird to be 13, understand where babies come from, and then have a pregnant mom.  But he takes it all in stride and is excited to meet his littlest brother.  He does keep reminding me that he'll be going to college when this little one is going to Kindergarten, to which I tell him to stop talking.  Mama can't take that kind of reality check.  When the ultrasound tech paused over the male baby bits and confirmed he is still indeed a boy, JP blushed.  So sweet.


Speaking of boy parts...if sex organs no longer determine if humans are a male or female, and instead people can decide for themselves what gender they want to be, isn't it "wrong" or "judgemental" for medical staff to tell parents what gender a baby is?  Shouldn't we let the baby decide when he/she is born?  Wouldn't it be rude to proclaim at the moment of birth that the baby is a boy if he identifies as a girl?  How are we going to handle this one, liberal America??


Phil is finishing his first week of summer camp, and the kids are having a blast.  Our friend, Liz, is assisting him this year, and she's a 5th grade teacher with tons of great ideas.  Phil says he couldn't do it without her.  Some people are born with that creative, arts and craft gene and some of us are not.  Thank God for all types.  Anyway, yesterday they had superhero day:

They've also had a puppet show come in to teach the kids about how to treat people with handicaps (they are handicapable! we are all human!  treat everyone normally!  right Kelly?)  Last year it was about wheelchairs and this year it was about blind people.  The kids got to learn a little braille, and were so impressed by anyone that can read it - that is very tricky!  They play water games, go to daily Mass, play sports and at the park, dance, sing, have time to complete their summer work for school, and generally just have fun and busy days.  I'm so proud of Phil for putting so much time and energy into making this camp happen.  He makes it look easy!


Did you know McDonald's has a large selection of flavored iced coffees that are unsweetened?  I'm drinking my Blueberry coffee with cream as I type.  Take that gestational diabetes!  Mmmmmmm, summah time!


Twice a week, Maggie and Xander go to swimming lessons at the outdoor pool at the YMCA near us.  After their lesson is finished, there's open swim time and I jump in (well, slowly descend in) to the pool and float around for half an hour.  It's the perfect way to end a summer day, and I am thinking about extending their lessons just so I can keep swimming until the baby is born.  


So I'm not officially nesting yet...there's no bassinet or baby clothes in sight at Casa Martin, but I am trying to check things off my to do list.  Baby's due date is also the kid's first day of school, so I am buying and organizing school supplies, shipping a damaged backpack back to LLBean (love their lifetime guarantee), ordering uniforms, and bought everybody a pair of sneakers and school shoes.  Ever want to feel broke?  Go buy all that stuff for six kids.  Geesh!  I actually got really great prices on the footwear at and Old Navy sells uniform pants for only $12 right now and my boy's favorite underwear is on sale there too.  Bargain hunting is my Confirmation name, so it's actually fun for me.  It'd be funner if someone else was footing the bill, but hey, we made all these kids :)

Have a wonderful relaxing, staying cool, swimming, kind of weekend everybody!  See ya on the flip side (with a winner to my giveaway!)